Eating good food in stunning spaces ranks among those things most dear to our COLLECTIVE hearts. For this reason (and plenty of others), we wax idyllic somewhat regularly about delicious and well-designed restaurants all over Utah. But the Supper Club is something...different. And entirely perfect.
It's delectable menu meets sublime design...
on a rotating spit.
Which is to say, both are ever-changing. Supper Club is spearheaded by Evan Francois, executive chef at Harmon's, and Alexa Norlin, the pastry-pro behind Normal Club Ice Cream (*sigh*). In short, it's a quarterly endeavor that treats up to 40 guests to an absurdly-creative and delicious several-course meal in an absurdly-creative and beautifully-appointed environment. Then, a portion of the evening's proceeds are distributed to a deserving charitable organization. That's the short version. Having recently attended a Supper Club event, however, we feel happily obliged to give you much more than that.
THE MENU, WINE, AND LOCATION differ EVERY TIME.
Says Evan, "Creating new experiences and continually evolving keeps us on our toes as chefs...and our guests guessing." It started humbly, in the perfectly-culled back yard of friends (this good pair) who also donated time and talent to the cause in the form of free photography and styling for the club. In the following event, the hope was supper on the Salt Flats, but weather forced a change in plans, and they landed on a beautiful meal in the modern, stunning space at U West.
"The support that we've received from our friends in helping with our crazy ideas has been surreal...it's enabled us to push the boundaries of what Supper Club brings to the table." In addition to Evan and Alexa's kitchen wizardry, it all comes together each quarter thanks to the efforts of sous chef Casey Bowthorpe, as well as Kim Fearick (marketing/logistics/design), Ty Richchouyrod and Bryan Hinschberger (wine pairings and service), and Kate Croft/Jeremy Thorton (wait staff). It's a team effort for the gooder good (get it...because food).
"we want our guests to be wowed each time."
Shouldn't be a problem. The last SC was held in the Marmalade art space of some generous friends, and we were floored by every last detail. From lighting (dim) to floral (muted) to settings (magical), the Supper Club served. Think: striped bass, shito, and radish with popcorn crema and amaranth. Or puffed grain granola with white chocolate mousse and a citrus sorbet (to name just two of the courses). Food prep happened discreetly on the other side of a wall. The wine pairings were insane. Guests were glowing.
Hungry? You'll have to wait until the next Supper Club. In the mean time, do yourself a kindness and get your name added to the pre-event invite list by emailing [email protected]. You can also follow them on Instagram @supperclubsaltlake. We threw a few questions in Evan's general direction (scroll below) to give you a better idea of why Supper Club is the ideal night out with a touch of community give-back. But you see the photos...surely, you don't need further convincing.
Give us the basic rundown. How did the Supper Club come to be? [Alexa and I] had worked together on a few different events in the past and really enjoyed the entire process from start to finish. We both felt like a good partnership was integral to the success of an event and we've always worked well in that way. Finding someone who has a similar work ethic, overall goal and the ability to actually pull it all off is rare, and when we realized how easy it felt to work together, we knew that we wanted to capitalize on that. With both of us already happy (and busy) with our full time jobs we started playing around with the idea of doing a pop-up style dinner. We set up a meeting to start planning what is now Supper Club and almost immediately realized that this was a project we could get excited about and something we felt Salt Lake was in need of. We wanted Supper Club to be way for us to get creative with food and come up with dishes that you normally wouldn’t see in restaurants here in SLC.
How did you find the right folks to help you bring it all to the table? We are lucky to be surrounded by talented people who have wanted to help from the beginning. The first couple of events it was all of our friends that happen to be in creative fields donating their time to help us get rolling, it was a very grass roots endeavor. Since then the Supper Club family has definitely morphed and grown. It’s one of the reasons we love this project and this industry in general...it really has the ability to bring people together in such a great way. We’ve added some amazing local talent and kitchen help to our team that has helped with the expansion and elevation of these events.
How do you pick the menu/wine/location for each one? The idea behind the food is originality...we want our personal cooking styles to come through in each course. We always approach a menu asking the question, “How can we create a truly unique experience for our guests?" We try to keep the menu as seasonal as possible, using as many local ingredients as we can. Once we’ve established the food for the evening, we sit down with our wine gurus, Ty and Brian, to go over pairings. And obviously, it doesn’t end there--the venue and design really help to add to the entire experience. We try to find locations that people may not have ever been to and that allow us to play with the space a bit. For instance, Jenevieve Hubbard of Beehive Floral put together the most recent floral installation that really took the space to the next level. Seeing that transform is one of our favorite parts of these events.
Tell us about the proceeds from each S.C. How do you choose where/how much goes? From the very beginning, one of our goals for this project was to be able to give back to our community. We decided that for each dinner, we would donate a portion of the proceeds to a different local charity or organization. As a general rule, we try to support causes that are near and dear to our hearts and may be in need of support in the current political climate. We’ve donated to Planned Parenthood, the National Parks Service of Utah, and most recently, the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Utah has a ton of great organizations helping those in need, which makes selecting one the most difficult part of creating these events.